Saltwater fishing gear

10 Best Reels for Saltwater Fishing

One of the most important things to consider when fishing in saltwater is choosing a quality reel. The best reels for saltwater fishing are made of durable materials that can resist corrosion, such as aluminum, stainless steel or graphite.

Choosing the best fishing reel size for saltwater fishing is very important as well. Having many different sizes to choose from, you want to make sure that the reel will fit your hand comfortably and not be too heavy or cumbersome while casting. The best option is usually a mid-sized fishing reel that has just enough weight without being too bulky, used for both inshore and outshore fishing.

What makes a good quality saltwater reel?

A good quality reel will also have sealed bearings to keep out the saltwater.


  • Best fishing reels for saltwater should have a smooth drag system that will allow you to slowly reel in your catch without breaking your line. A good drag system can make the difference between landing your dream catch or losing it.

Spool size

  • The spool size of your reel is also important when fishing in deep saltwater. A large spool will hold more line, which is necessary when casting for larger fish. Conversely, a smaller spool will provide more torque and allow you to reel in fish faster.

Best Reels for Saltwater Fishing

Below are some of the best reels for saltwater fishing that you can find on the market today:

The Daiwa BG Series Saltwater Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG2000 BG Saltwater fishing Reel

The Daiwa BG2000 Saltwater Spinning Reel is a tough reel, perfect for anglers who demand the best. From its Hard body and side cover to its over-sized Digigear system, this reel is designed to handle whatever you can throw at it. The Solid Screw-In Handle provides a secure grip even when wet, and with a gear ratio of 5.6:1, the Daiwa BG2000 can handle heavy loads with ease. The Waterproof Drag System ensures smooth operation even in harsh conditions, while the Carbon ATD helps reduce line breakage. J-BRAID line is ready to go on the ABS spool, and with a drag max of 4.4 lbs. Check Price


Three People Arrested for Trapping Spiny Lobsters Florida Keys

According to The Miami herald 3 people were arrested in connection with a fake commercial fishing operations.  The ring leader goes by the name of  Elena P. Reyes, 67, was arrested on Monday in the Florida Keys.  She is being charged with felony racketeering and fraud charges. The Florida Wild Life Investigated 3 years.

Oscar Martin Mazorra, 54, was booked into jail on a racketeering charge and held on a $100,000 bond. Mazorra is president of MF Fishing Inc., a Weston company in which Reyes is a registered agent, according to the Florida Division of Corporations.


Read More About It @ the Miami Herald Three people arrested for trapping spiny lobsters Florida Keys




Thread herring

Thread herring bait fish


The thread herring is distinguishable at a glance from all the herrings that regularly inhabit the Gulf of Maine by the prolonged last ray (usually about as long as the body is deep) of its dorsal fin. It resembles the gizzard shad of [page 113] fresh and brackish waters farther south in this respect, but the two differ rather conspicuously in various details. In the thread herring, the upper edge of the tail fin is about 1½ times as long as the head (only about as long as the head in the gizzard shad); the point of origin of the dorsal fin is a little in front of the origin of the ventral fins (a little behind in the gizzard shad); the distance from the origin of the ventrals to the origin of the anal fin is at least 1½ times as long as the base of the anal (only about ¾ to 4/5 in the gizzard shad); and the anal fin is very low, with its first few rays a little shorter than the eye (about 1½ times as long as the eye in the “gizzard”). There is no danger of confusing a thread herring with a young tarpon with which it shares the prolonged dorsal ray, for its dorsal fin originates in front of the ventrals, while the two fish are far apart in general appearance. This is a rather thin fish, its body about 2½ to 3 times as long (to the base of the tail) as deep; the belly is sharp and saw edged; the tail deeply forked as in our other herrings. There are 18 to 19 rays in the dorsal fin, 22 to 24 in the anal.


Bluish above, silvery on sides and belly. The scales along the back have dark centers, forming longitudinal streaks, and there is a faint dark spot just behind the upper margin of the gill cover; the dorsal and caudal fins have black tips.


Maximum length about 12 inches.

General range—

Atlantic coast of America in tropical and subtropical latitudes, south to Brazil, straying northward to Chesapeake Bay, and occasionally as far as southern Massachusetts.

Reference: credit to

land fishing key largo
Florida keys shore fishing

Where To Land Fish In The Florida Keys

One of the best land fishing spots in the keys

I never give up my fishing spots, but today is your lucky day.  The reason i am disclosing this spot  is because i mainly fish on my boat.This fishing spot in Duck key is the best shore fishing spot I’ve ever fished in the keys, and I’ve roamed it all. The type of fish I’ve caught here is hog fish, snook, mangrove snapper, permit, tarpon, and even keeper yellow tail snapper.

Where to land fish florida keys
Duck key, Florida land fishing spot MM60

Located around mile marker 65 near toms harbor cut, directly in front of hawks cay resort near long key bridge, .

Florida Keys Shore Fishing

My favorite spot for night is numbered 1 on the map.  At spot one, you can park literally right next to the water. What i do is back up my truck to the edge of the water and fish from my truck bed. This is a pretty comfy spot.  I like to come with chum and tie it to a tree that is half in the water. Night time is the best time to catch mangrove snapper. My grandfather use to tell me stories on what time is best to fish and he always said 3 am. Indeed I’ve caught my best fish at night.

land fish florida keys
Where to land fish florida keys

During the day i fish Spot 2, 3 and 4  hunting tarpon,permit and snook, under and along side of the bridge , never on top of the bridge. Sometimes you can see a ton of snook just bunched up along the sides, where white mangroves line the edge of the water. The bait i use at spot 1 is ballyhoo and most important thread Herring. Good luck!



shore fishing key largo
Gilberts resort

Where to land fish in key largo

under bridge land fishing key largo
bridge in key-largo Florida

Being raised in Miami and the Florida keys ( key largo ) has its advantages when it comes to land fishing.  In the old days before the center medium on the us1 20 mile stretch, you were able to fish the sides exposed to water. But today with the center medium and fence they put up it is impossible to fish there non the less it’s illegal by the FDOT.

Over the years coming and going to key largo iv’e run into some great land fishing spots. One good spot is under the jew fish creek bridge. you can either go to the marina side or Gilbert’s resort side. I prefer Gilbert’s resort side as you can cast you’re line near the pilings and mangrove’s. The picture below shows the areas you can fish, on Gilbert’s resort, dock or under either side of the bridge.Where to land fish in keylargo

The best bait to use at this spot is live shrimp when in season. Dead shrimp works, but live shrimp is best. Silver sides, thread herring, ballyhoo all work good at this spot.

the type of fish caught here are snook, mangrove snapper, permit and wherever else rolls by in the channel.

Night time fishing here yields bigger mangrove snapper and more snook bites. Make sure to bring plenty of mosquito repellent, especially if you come at night. Mosquito’s here can be unforgiving if your not armed with mosquito spray.

Where to land fish in key largo
Jewish creek land fishing spot key largo

A little trail.

land fishing spots key largo
land fishing spots key largo

This is a great spot i use to fish and catch a ton of mangrove snapper and snook.

This is a good fishing spot

Different view


Dead grouper red tide
red tide

Red tide ft myers

This last summer i saw the worst red tide ever to hit the west coast, ft myers. Dead fish mounds in every corner of the beach. The smell of dead fish polluted the air making people sick. ” The most common human health problems associated with red tides and other harmful algae blooms are various types of gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological disorders. The natural toxins in harmful algae can cause several different illnesses” According to

Algae bloom of dinoflagellates causing red tide, California, USA. Mark Conlin/Oxford Scientific/Getty

Here is a huge dead snook affected by red tide.

Snook dies red tide
Red tide kills snook

Snook red tide
Dead snook red tide

Dead horseshoe crab.

Red tide kills horsehoe crabs
Horseshoe crabs die red tide

This giant Goliath grouper died under the ft Myers peer.

Goliath grouper dies red tide
Red tide kills goliath

This grouper died from red tide

Red tide kills grouper
Grouper dies red tide

These cat fish had no chance with red tide.

Red tide kills all catfish
Catfish die from red tide

Dead spanish mackerel affected by red tide.

Spanish mackerel dies red tide
Red tide kills spanish mackerel

Sheaps head dead

Red tide kill sheeps head

Dead eels elsewhere.

Dead speckled trout.

Trout dies red tide
Red tide kill trout

Dead baitfish. This is threadfin hearing that was affected by red tide.

Thread fin hearing dies red tide
Red tide kill hearing

This is absolutely the worst red tide to ever hit the west coast of florida.

mangrove snapper best bait
Mangrove snapper

Keylargo 20 inch Mangrove Snapper

Monster Mangrove Snapper Caught in Key Largo Creek

September 29, 2018- Caught this 20 inch mangrove snapper bottom fishing, thread herring on a 2/0 long shaft eagle claw hook using 15 pound test, 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader.This monster Pulled like a freight train, directly in the mangrove roots but i was able get him free after 1 solid minute waiting. I should of used 20lbs test at the spot but i always have better success using 15lbs test mono.

It was caught in a specific spot in jew fish creek, key largo near Gilbert’s resort – ( the fist canal near the entrance). This spot is deep and monster mangrove snapper’s live below. The depth ranges from 9 to 12 feet , heavy chum is key to bringing them out of the mangrove roots. I chum for 30 minutes before i even start to fish. be patient!

keylargo-jewfish creek
Big Mangrove snapper live in jew-fish creek- key-largo, Florida

The best bait for mangrove snappers is thread herring (Frozen )

Thread hearing village pride
Village pride thred herring -best bait for mangrove snapper

Using frozen thread herring is crucial and no other bait is needed unless your using the live bait that is surrounding the area. Arm yourself with a good cooler to not let the bait un-freeze, the harder the bait the better, so keep it on ice and make sure it does not thaw. Cutting the herring in 2 pieces is what works best to get the big ones to bite. Make sure to smash the head of the bait before. Also hooking it once below on the belly side is all you do.  If you put a small piece, chances are you will catch a small snapper. The big snapper will let the small snapper sample the big piece until the big one takes it from her. The trick here is patience.

The best hook for mangrove snapper

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long-shaft- Eagle Claw hook- for bottom fishing

My personal best hook for mangrove snapper is a long shaft hook preferably eagle claw from 1/0 to 4/0 depends on the size of bait i put on. I only use them for bottom fishing mangos. long shaft is best to use because it is easier to unhook the fish once caught.  You can use a smaller shaft hook but it will take twice as long to unhook them, especially when they swallow it to the gill. Using barbed hooks will destroy your hands after a while of catch and release. Stick with long shaft hook.

I use from 15-25 pound mono-filament , preferably Ande, with a yozuri fluorocarbon pink leader 40lbs . 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader is enough but for fishing in more rockier bottoms i prefer 50 LBS fluorocarbon leader. I never use wire, mangrove snapper especially the big ones are leader shy ( metal leader is more visible than fluorocarbon )

20 inch mangrove snapper

20 inch Mangrove snapper

Best mangrove snapper rig

The best mangrove snapper fishing rigs also depends the bottom your fishing, but a simple knocker rig on a fluorocarbon leader works good. Chances are you’l fish the edge of the mangrove, less likely to get locked up. However,  If your fishing a rocky bottom with or without current, use a chicken rig and you save a ton of hooks, from lock ups.

rig for mangrove snapper
Non-slip_knot-best rig for mangrove snapper

My favorite rig for mangrove snapper is a simple swivel tide to a fluorocarbon leader to a long shaft hook using a loop knot- this knot is crucial for bait flow and presentation,. .  This method saves me on fluorocarbon leader as i go through it pretty fast.


It may look as though i’m holding her outside of the boat but i can assure you it was inside. I’ve seen many of mishaps where fish just land back in the water.

Mangrove snapper
mangrove snapper in the back country